Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 4+ of Hajj 2012

After Day 3 and the Eid festivities are celebrated around the world. The pilgrims return to Makkah and perform seven turns around the Ka'aba and pray where prophet Ibrahim(AS) stood while building the Ka'aba. They then proceed to walk seven times between two small hills safa and marwa near the Ka'aba. This is in memory of Hajar, prophet Ibrahim's wife and Ismail's mother. The story goes that she ran seven times between the two hills searching for water, and a spring welled up in the desert for her, which is present until today, called the spring of ZamZam. The Pilgrims perform this ritual to experience a little bit of her tragedy, and they drink and carry water from this ancient spring home with them.

Safa and Marwa's location at the mosque (pics from

People performing the walk between the two small mountains. 

The government of Saudi Arabia, built a bigger mosque that encased the first mosque, and built an overhead to cover the distance between the two small hills.  Money well spent, Yes?

After that, the pilgrims make a visit to Madinah, if they haven't done so already. This is the city that provided refuge for prophet Mohammed when the Muslims where being killed in Makkah. It is where the prophet built his first mosque and it is where he was buried. The pilgrims visit the prophet's mosque, his grave and other historical sites in the city. Once their journey is complete, they return home with the title Al-Hajj for men and Al-Hajjah for women. 

I wish all our pilgrims a safe journey back to their homes and families, may Allah accept your prayers.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Eid Mubarak from Arusha 2012

Eid Mubarak kutoka Bondeni AKA Kariakoo ya Arusha Tanzania.

Arusha (Picha kutoka forum ya wabongo)

Bondeni ya Kati, watu wakitoka msikitini

Watu wakifungua vinywa , kabla ya kuelekea makwao.

And this is how the day started for folks from Bondeni. How did your eid start?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 3 of Hajj 2012

In case you haven't caught on, Hajj is all about prophet Ibrahim when he was following Allah's command, we are basically tracing his steps on his journey when he went to Mecca.

So on day 3, the pilgrims start their journey back to Mina at dawn. Here they will throw stones at 3 pillars that represent the temptations of Satan.

Muslims performing the jamarat ritual 

When prophet Ibrahim was ordered to sacrifice his son Ismail, the devil attempted to dissuade him from following Allah's command at this location and appeared to him on the first stone heap. Jibril(Gabriel) said  to him: "Stone him!", and so prophet Ibrahim threw seven stones at him and he disappeared from him. He then re-appeared to him at the middle stone heap. Jibril said again: "Stone him!", so he stoned him seven stones and he disappeared. He then re-appeared at the little stone heap, and Jibril said again to stone him and he did. This time the Devil withdrew from him. The stoning of the pillars represent Ibrahim's rejection of satan and also the act of casting aside one's low desires and wishes.After throwing the stone pebbles, the pilgrims will slaughter a sheep or goat and donate the meat to the poor. The rest of us celebrate Eid al-adha, the festival of sacrifice on Friday October 26th.

On a side note, Jamani mmesikia vingunguti hizo bei za mbuzi, uwii, mbona kazi ipo, tutakula maboga Iddi hii.

Eid Mubarak!

Nawatakia Eid Njema, Mwenyezi Mungu awakubalie dua zenu, na awajaalie rehema na baraka zake.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day 2 of Hajj 2012

So after our pilgrims had a comfortable rest in their air conditioned tents with proper beds, okay so I am exaggerating, they probably spent all day and all night praying. And you know the Islamic prayer, we don't sit and pray, No! No!, we stand, bow, prostrate,stand, bow .... repeatedly. If you still don't get my meaning, let me show you in pics.

We stand for Allah
We bow for Allah
We prostrate for Allah. (pics from bbc)

We do it very humbly as if he is standing right in front and above us. People back in the days, would bow and prostrate to Kings. If you could do it to a fellow Human being out of respect and fear, why not humble yourself even more to the one who created you, your world, the universe and who drives it. It is a beautiful and rewarding experience.

So tomorrow, October 25th our pilgrims leave Mina just after dawn and are going to the plains of Mt.Arafat.Here they spend the whole day near the mountain of mercy, asking for Allah's forgiveness and help. Muslims all around the world who are not performing the Hajj, join them in spirit by fasting for the day.
Centuries later people are still responding to prophet Ibrahim's (Abraham) calling.

Mt.Arafat is where Prophet Ibrahim (AS) stood to call the people to Hajj upon God's command, after he completed building the first structure of Ka'bah, that's the black box you see centered in the Mecca mosque, it was the first mosque to be built in Mecca, before Prophet Mohammed's time.

After Sunset, the pilgrims travel to a nearby open plain called Muzdalifah, which is located between Arafat and Mina. Here they spend the night praying and collecting small stones to be used the following day. I am posting this early. So we are all fasting tomorrow? Yes?

I leave you with these hadith quotes on Day 2....
The Prophet(Peace Be Upon Him) said: "There is no day on which Allah frees more of his slaves from fire than the Day of Arafat, and He verily draws near, then boasts of them before the angels, saying: "What do they seek?" (Sahih Muslim)
In another hadith: "Verily Allah boasts of the people of Arafat before the angels in Heaven saying: "Look to my servants who have come to me disheveled and dusty.""

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Day 1 of Hajj 2012

Hajj this year starts officially on the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah, which falls on october 24th on our everyday calendar. Okay so just so we are clear, people have been arriving in Mecca and familiarizing themselves with the city, Masjid and their surroundings, but today is the official day 1. Today the pilgrims travel from Mecca to Mina a small village east of the city chanting, "Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik" ("Here I am, O Allah, here I am"). They then camp in Mina by spending the day and night in tents worshiping Allah, until the next day for their trip to the plains of Arafat.

Mina the city of tents where our fellow Muslims are sleeping tonight. 
We can escort them during this time by fasting and increasing worship.

If the prophet could see this city now, back then people really camped in tents, check out the air conditioning units on these tents. They probably have flushing toilets and real showers, they are basically houses.

I leave you with this Hadith from Bukhari...
Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: 
"There are no days in which good deeds are more beloved to Allah than the first ten days of Dhul-Hijja." The people asked : "Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?" The Prophet said: "Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight, giving himself and his wealth for the cause, and came back with nothing."  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How high can Men Jump?

Well how does 23 miles or 39.034 meters above the earth sound? Felix Baumgartner a 43 year old Austrian skydiver, jumped 23 miles above the earth on October 14 2012 and set a world record.  He Jumped to earth from a helium balloon in the stratosphere. The Stratosphere is the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere, it is arranged in temperature, with warmer layers higher up and cooler layers farther down.

Felix: What did I get myself into?

 Too late to turn back now.

I'm Alive I'm Alive!!!! 

watch the full video below:

Don't try this at home.
I wonder if this inspires more dare devils and we will start seeing more felixes jumping from space.

Source: and

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hajj 2012

It is that time of year again, where Muslims go to Hajj. Hajj, is the Islamic pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and is the fifth Pillar of Islam. It is required for every Muslim who is able-bodied and can afford to do so, to go to Hajj at least once in their lifetime. It usually occurs from the 8th to the 12th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, which is the 12th and last month of the islamic calendar. Since the islamic calendar follows the lunar calendar, it falls eleven days shorter than the Gregorian calender. This year Hajj falls in October from the 24th to the 29th. Ihram is the name given to the special spiritual state in which Muslims live while on the pilgrimage.

Tanzania like a few other countries, has a government program where they send 150 people to Hajj every year for free, only for those who can't afford it. The pilgrimage is performed in Mecca and Masjid Alharam which is the first mosque to be built in Mecca is the main mosque used for prayers for the duration of their stay. It was originally built by Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail,. The prophet Mohammed(SAW) revived its original purity, by breaking all the Idols that were housed during the pre-islamic time, and commanded the mosque to be a place of worship to Allah alone and not idols.
Masjid Alharam as seen from Google maps.

I pray for a safe journey to all our Muslim brothers and sisters who are going to Hajj this year. 
May Allah guide you all and accept your prayers

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Message - The Movie about the Beginnings of Islam

The Message is an islamic movie about Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and the history of Islam. I remember seeing this movie when I was very young. This movie was done in the 70s and  directed by Moustapha Akkad, who was a Syrian American Movie producer and director, and he also produced the Halloween Series and Lion of the Dessert. Sadly, he died in 2005 along with his daughter by a suicide bomber in Jordan, he was 75 at the time.May Allah grant both him and his daughter Jannah!
Moustapha Akkad
He saw this film as a way to bridge the gap between the west and the islamic world. He said this in an interview in 1976:
"I did the film because it is a personal thing for me. Besides its production values as a film, it has its story, its intrigue, its drama. Beside all this I think there was something personal, being Muslim myself who lived in the west I felt that it was my obligation my duty to tell the truth about Islam. It is a religion that has a 700 million following, yet it's so little known about it which surprised me. I thought I should tell the story that will bring this bridge, this gap to the west."

The movie below is based on a true story of the prophet, his image is not shown and neither is Sayedna Ali's image. Its kinda weird watching a movie without seeing the main character, but they pulled it off very well. Popcorn anyone?

The Message Part 1

The Message Part 2

The Message Part 3

The Message Part 4

The Message Part 5

The Message Part 6
Interesting story of how the Adhan came about.
The Message Part 7

The Message Part 8

The Message Part 9

The Message Part 10

The Message Part 11

The Message Part 12
I think they need to do another version of this movie with the latest technologies they have today.